Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm Home from Mexico Beach, Florida



I'm home from my brother's beach wedding; and from my extra few days stay at Mexico Beach, Florida. I can't tell you how long its been since I visited Florida.

And, even better - Angie Gumbo Writer was able to go, too! Then, as a surprise, her twin sister came on Thursday! We're "The Tripletts" - me separated at birth *laughing*

We had such a good time - lots of laughs, coffee, naps; and as well, Captain Allen, from whom we rented our little cottage, took us out on his boat. We saw dolphins, went shell hunting, enjoyed the beautiful ocean and its views.
More later - I leave you with these few photos. One taken from our cottage view, one taken from the boat view, and one from the walk down to the beach from our cottage.
Hope you are having a relaxing Memorial Day.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Beach Wedding I go go

Soon I'll be heading down to Florida for my brother Johnny's beach wedding. I've never been to a beach wedding, so this will be a nice experience. I have a cool summer dress, and barely there sandals (or bare feet! Those who know me know I look for any excuse to take off my shoes and go barefoot!).


I've asked Angie Gumbo Writer if she wants to meet me there - she needs some time away. She's trying to get her schedule fixed so perhaps she can and so we can find a place we hope overlooks the water. Otherwise, I'll be staying with another group in a cute beach house overlooking the sand and gulf.


I've not been to the beach in a while. Last beach I went to was in Oregon. It's been a very long time since I've been to any gulf beaches. I don't think the oil spill has reached where I am going . . . I hate to even think about that spill and what it's doing to the fisherman and shrimpers *sigh* Not to mention the environmental, the wildlife, the tender coastal grasses and the rest, and to the small towns and communities . . . *sigh again*


GMR has said he wants to stay home - no hot sandy beaches and weddings for him *laugh*


I'll be around the Panama City area - in one of the little beach towns in that area, so if any of my blogging buddies are near there, email me and let me know and perhaps there is a way we can meet to say hello.


I think I will take another blog header photo while there - with Tender Graces & Secret Graces at my feet, and as well, the Sweetie manuscript lying there.


Tender Graces (and SG) continues to do well on Kindle and as well on regular overall Amazon (I am not looking at ratings, but my publishers and some friends are sending me notes going WOW TG is at so and so ranking!whoop! and I am going Yayy! but keeping myself from going there to look and all that jazz. But, I do hope this will get the indie booksellers and other bookstores to start stocking it better than they have! I know it's a competitive business and brick and mortar bookstores, particular the indies, are having a hard time of it for the most part.


So, this week I pack and ready for the beach. I have a hat. I have a cute dress. I have sandals and bare feet. I have a fake tan going (laugh). The Boopmobile will be shined up and full of gas. I am going to consider this a vacation. Yes. That's what I'm going to do. Ahhhhh!


What are you doing for vacation? Any plans you are excited about this summer?

Friday, May 21, 2010

What happens if you write just for the FUN of it?


I thought, “There’s no way I’ll get 100 pages of material, that’s over thirty-thousand words. Not in the deadline I’ve been given. Dang. Argh! Eek!” I sat in front of my computer staring at the butchered story before me, the one I spoke about in the post below from yesterday. I had maybe, possibly, three-thousand words left after I deleted the rest. And of those three-thousand words, I wasn’t sure what else would have to be trashed. And, I had to consider the story from another angle. Argh. Dang. Eek!


I took those negative thoughts and shoved them to the back of a dark corner closet, put my fingers to the keys, and just Began.


When I lifted my head two days later, that maybe three-thousand words has been increased by over 16,000. I have written a minimum of 16,000 words. An average of 8,000 words a day.



I worked on the story about four to five hours each day, because that’s just how long I happened to work on this project. Some days will be longer hours, sometimes shorter. So, I averaged 1500 to 1600 words an hour. Years and years ago, the last time I had a typing test on an IBM Selectric; I could type 80 to 90 words a minute. Even if I took the lower end of 80 x 60 minutes, that’s 4800 possible words in an hour (I hate math so if I’m figuring wrong, oops –call me on it *laugh*). So. Yes. The fingers can create many words in an hour.


But what can the brain, or its creative outflow, allow? That's up to you. That's up to how much you are willing to take a risk, or let go, or just plain old Have A Little Fun.


If you sit down for one hour at even 50 words per minute by your fingers, you can have 3,000 words. If you allow your brain free reign, could you have even 1500 words in two hours? Three? A day? That’s a short-short story. Or the beginnings of something longer. Don't OVER-THINK it; allow yourself to have some FUN. That’s all I did, gave myself permission to have Fun. And, heck, if anything else, it's good practice. Tappity tap, wheeee! hey, this is fun!


You don’t think I’m going to let this story stand as it is when I hit “the end” and have my thirty-ish thousand words, do you? Heck no! I’m going to re-fine and tweak and fiddle and fix. But I’ll have a beginning, middle, and end, and all the hindsights and foresights to see the story as a “whole.” I wake up in the morning excited about the work, because I have allowed the word FUN back into my writing life. I need to do that often and oftener and oftenest.


If I lower the stakes when I am feeling stuck and afraid and allow myself to relax into it, then my brain gives a little yippeee! My fingers are already troopers.


There’s something to be said for practice, too—I can’t stress that enough.


Are you ready to sit down and not let anything stop you from writing? If you let yourself have a little Fun without giving everything such high expectations and high stakes (performance anxiety), what do you think you could accomplish? What if this moment in your writing, even for one hour, it is all about FUN?
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(PS, Last my publishers checked last night, Tender Graces was still No 1 on Amazon Kindle Literary and it was ranked just about 2,000 on the trade paperback ranking, which is an incredible number - *smiling* - Thank you all for your support! I appreciate all your comments and you know I read every danged one of them - y'all are wonderful! You've all been here cheering me on and I can't tell you what it means to me - well, I can - it means SO DANGED MUCH - more than you may know, my friends *MUWAH!*)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Writing outside our comfort areas




“Kathryn, think ‘commercial/mainstream’, not ‘literary’” Huh? "Think The Waltons, not The Godfather;" ... Okay, I'm getting it, I think.


"Think light happy endings and charm and wit, not without sorrow or a little darkness, but there has to be a light at the end, and there has to be warm resolution and something to leave a big happy smile on the reader’s face. . ." Wait; I think I'm getting it. So, instead of my story having all that darkness and FURY, I need to lighten it up a bit and give it a satisfactory and sweet ending that leave reader's smiling and going "awwww," right? "Pretty much, yes. Your story ending with your character (doing this strange weird thing) just isn't going to work . . . it ends too dark, even if it ends with some hope . . . the last image is a bit disturbing; great for literary writing, not so great for what our audience for this particular anthology expects. But keep your own voice intact; you see?" Okay, yes, I see that now.


"Look at this example." [Kat reads example: light story, some sorrow but all works out in the end, last image makes me go "aww!" and all is touching and light, despite the sorrow that happened. Throw in a quirky character or two, and voila!] Yes, yes, I see now. Kat then goes to story and takes a deeeeeep breath and first saves the darker story under another file because she will use it elsewhere, then begins to smash the DELETE KEY. Half the story GONE, and the other half is morphing into something else . . .


Fiddle fiddle, tweak tweak; what happens is, when I changed the situation and some of the surrounding characters, the main character is still the same person! But, since the situation surrounding her changes, her reaction to her world is different—hummmm, kind of like real life would be. If my circumstances had been different, I'd react to the world differently than I do, but I'd still be Me, right? Hmmm. What is coming out is a charming lighter story that’s fun to write, and not so depressing, to boot. And it's not hurting as much as I thought it would.


My friends, sometimes we have to stick to what we know, because that’s what we most want to write. But sometimes going outside of our “comfort areas” could bring forth a part of us we didn’t know we had; and as well, we can stretch those writing muscles a bit. Or, find a new itch that needs scratching. This has happened to me twice in the last couple of months when I've been asked to contribute something to an anthology that is in a different "style" than I am used to. The irony is, when I first began writing short stories, I wrote more like what they want me to write for these anthologies, but found it hard for the literary publications to accept those stories. Hmmmmm.


Oh, I balked at first. Change my story? I caaaannn’t. But, I can’t I? Sure I can, and I am excited. I am living the life I dreamed about: someone asking me to contribute instead of me searching for places to submit. Wow! You bet I'm going to write my arse off and see what I can come up with. DELETE DELETE/RE-WRITE RE-WRITE. See what happens. Take a chance. Find a side of myself that has lain dormant, but without changing my own style, my own way of writing, my fingerprint--that's important, not to change who and what you are to satisfy someone else: there is a difference and that difference is important to me, and it is important to Bellebooks and to the people I write for. I slept on it, and this morning woke up excited—something came clear to me. I can’t wait to dive into the characters and new situations. Huhn.


What about you? Have you had to write outside your “comfort area?”


Friends, Go by and give Janna Something She Wrote a hug - her father has passed away.

And Barry at An Explorer's Life wrote up a sweet post - made me cry. Barry is going through so much now, and I just love him. Also, Michelle Hickman posted about authors, and I'm there, too - made me smile. What good friends here in BlogLand - supporting each other and lifting each other up.
AND! Tender Graces is still Number ONE on Amazon Kindle Literary! OMG! I thought it would go back down after it went back to full price, but it's still No 1 - Kathryn Stockett's The Help is No 2 -- omg! I'm so excited! Okay, if you go there and it's slipped down, don't tell me yet -I want to keep this grin on my silly little pea-headed face *LAUGH*! WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

So after yesterday's Post . . . WHOOPIEEEEE!


Y'all, today I feel "successful" - I am allowing myself to feel that. Why? Because today I am having Fun. Today I am letting any good news enter my bones and settle into my marrow - I am letting myself feel the word "success" without qualifying it - okay, I admit, I almost wrote "feel the word success even though . . . dot dot dot dot dot dot . . ." but I erased what I'd said. I want to allow a grin to ease over my face and settle there for a while!


Today I have come across good news and for as long as it lasts, because in this business one never knows what will happen, the highs and lows and lows and highs and in between (stop the qualifying Kat! dang you!); however, today, I am going to shout WHOOPIE! And let my WHOOPIE travel to my feet and cause me to jump up and do a happy dance *laugh*



First, Tender Graces went back to its regular price, no longer a free promo, but instead of immediately dropping down as I expected, when I last checked it was still at the Number 1 spot on Kindle Literary and Number 4 spot on Kindle over all. It was also doing well on its stats for the trade paperback. As well, Secret Graces is in the top 100 Kindle and doing well on its paper version, too. I'm not going back in there, so don't tell me if it's suddenly number 1 thousand hundred gazillion and two *laughing*


When I went into Amazon front book page this morning to write a review for a book I just read (I try to do that for the authors) and I saw my lil ole Tender Graces on the front page - on the Kindle best sellers - at the price it is going for, not for free, so, for now, I can feel that and be happy.


THEN! This morning I was reading my Asheville Citizen Times Book Page and what did I see? I saw "Top 20 WNC Books" - I thought to myself, "Dang. Wish I were listed here. Oh well, I'll see who is and then give them a mention and a whoopieee." Um, wait, what's this? Barbara Kingsolver No 1; Swan Thieves No 2, Miss Julia No 3; Sarah Addison's at No 4 and 5 -- and...wait! what's this? TENDER GRACES AT NO 6! WHOOPIEEE! I didn't even know it was there; didn't know it was No 6 in the top 20 WNC books.


So . . . today I am allowing myself to be Happy and Giggly and feel that word: success without qualifiers sneaking in and making it less than what it should be.
Shoot, even babies love my books -- and since that's my little granddaughter Norah Kathryn, I'm doubly happy *laugh*


YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Defining Success


One day a writer asked me, “What does it feel like to be a successful author?”


I answered, “I’ll let you know when I’m a success.”


The writer quirked an eyebrow. “Um, you’re kidding right?”


I said, “No. I’m not kidding. I’m a small blip on a big radar. I have lots to accomplish.” I shrugged.


With a bit of impatience, the writer said, “Well, from where I’m sitting you’re a success. I mean, I’m still looking for a home for my manuscript. I don’t have a book on my shelf with my name on it, much less two, and much less another on the way. How can you sit there and be so jaded already? Don’t you remember how you felt when your first book was about to be published? Heck, don’t you remember how you felt before you found a home for your book?”


I blinked. Oh dear. Had I become jaded already? I went home and thought about it. I thought about what the writer said: “Don’t you remember how you felt when/before your first book was published?”


I do remember. I remember how I felt before my first essay, poem, short story was published, and then how I (briefly) felt when one was. I remember when I asked myself, “When can I call myself a writer?” and all the angst and conditions I put on myself then. I’m still placing conditions on myself. “When this happens, I’ll be . . .” For as soon as the first poem/essay/short story/book was published, I thought, "But I now need to . . ."


In the publishing business, like some other businesses, there is always the Next Thing. There is always the looking forward; the What Comes Next. And when do we enjoy what we’ve accomplished? Do we? Are we? Shouldn’t we? Can’t we at some point celebrate and feel good about ourselves and give ourselves a little pat on the back before we move on?


I was speaking to a writer's group a few days ago. A woman said she'd just had some poetry published and we all clapped and congratulated her. I said, "Isn't this exciting?" She nodded, but there was that look. I knew that look. A bit later I said, "I remember when my first story was published. I was so happy, for about five minutes, then it was . . . Yes, but now I must . . ." and the woman, and several other writers laughed, all nodding their heads . . . "Yes, but now I must . . ."


How does one define success? By whose standards? Their own? Or some outside source?


Does pride and happiness in your accomplishments make one a success? Do one’s family and friends’ pride and happiness make it? Does seeing the fruits of one’s labor, one’s discipline, one’s hard tenacious work make one a success? Or does one wait for outside acclaim to define their level of success, and doesn't that set up slippery slopes and traps and endless endless endless endlessness?


I just turned my head to my bookshelf. The place where about two years ago GMR and I had placed a fake book with a fake title with my name on it—reserving the space for my first novel. I stared at that fake book many a day, wondering, wishing, and most of all, working my arse off to see it come true. And now, there are two books there with titles and my name on them—real published books. And I don’t feel as if I’m a success? My family and friends are happy for me; proud of me. And I don’t feel as if I’m a success? From where I was sitting the days of staring at that fake book, imaging where I am now would have felt like success. I am not suggesting we all can do the clich├ęd “rest on our laurels” thing; however, there is something to be said about taking a moment to stop and recognize the fruition of a job well done. There is something to be said about being happy with what you have right at this very moment, right now, right here, right in front of you.


How do you define another’s success? How do you define or measure your own? Do you think striving for bigger and better and larger and more motivates us, or creates an atmosphere of "nothing is ever enough; there is always someone who is richer, thinner, prettier, handsomer, successfuller, publisheder, prizeder, honoreder, revereder . . .so how can I get an ER"


cartoon

Friday, May 14, 2010

I interrupt this blog for a special announcement


Our Angie Gumbo Writer is back . . . welcome back to Blogville, Angie!


I'd told you all I wanted to write some thoughts about her mom's services. These are the images that have stayed with me since my return:


At the wake, there were hardly any seats left and a long long very long line to shake hands, hug, and kiss Angie and her family. Her parents were loved. Her mother loved. Flowers were everywhere.

A teenaged grandson's chin trembling is the saddest sight.

Endings sometimes feel like they aren't endings at all, but only pauses.

Angie's father is grace personified. A gentle-man. A beautiful soul.

At the grave site, there were chimes in many of the trees, and as the wind blew, all the chimes sang and sang and sang. The tree leave's brushed against each other - sighs. The chimes. The wind. All the souls, souls, souls, souls, souls, souls - so many souls.

Angie's father, at the end of the services, turned around and thanked everyone for coming, and with this look of profound grief, but also pride and love, he invited everyone to the "celebration of Peggy's life" - in his own grief and sadness, he wanted to make sure everyone knew how appreciative he was, and that they all felt invited and wanted and loved. I'll never forget the look on his handsome face . . . that loss and pride and gratitude.

Now, go by and say hello to our Angie and welcome her back to her blog. She, like her father, and her mother, is Grace personified, a gifted poet and writer, a wonderful mother, and a best friend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Amazon Kindle "Best Seller List" Hoopla doodlee doo


There is all this hoopla doodlee doo about the Amazon Free Books on Kindle promos. At least it's a temporary promo in the case of my publishers (Bellebooks/Bell Bridge Books) and Tender Graces - for two weeks only, Tender Graces is offered for free on Kindle, then it goes back to how it has been since it was released: you pay to get it. Secret Graces is not free, since it is a new release, and since, again, this is a Promotional Marketing thing my publishers is doing.


The idea is to get more notice and buzz for small presses, and for their authors. If you have a good book, people will buy it, but if they don't know about it because small presses have small marketing and promo budgets then they can't know to buy it. With the free promo, my book is being introduced to readers who would not have known about it.


Case in point, we received an email from a lovely gentleman who said he reads sci fi and non fiction, but when he saw my book for free and it was No 1 or No 2 at the time, he thought, "why not?" - well, he said he stayed up late into the night reading it - couldn't put it down. Now, that made me feel good. I emailed him back a warm note of thanks. And, he'll buy my next book because he enjoyed TG. This is a reader who never would have picked up my book. If my book had sucked, he'd not buy my next book. If Tender Graces sucks, it will fade into the background unread--no matter if it's free or if it's not free.


The big Hoopla discussion is the term "Best Seller List" - it seems some people are cranky about that. They say that it can’t be a best SELLER if it is free. Okay, fine. Sure sure, I get that. But, I think readers are smart enough to know that this is a promo to get readers interested in an author’s books – it isn’t designed to trick anyone into thinking my book is on a "best seller list"—I mean, geez, as if they could be tricked. Readers aren't stupid!

I wonder- what are the big guys afraid of . . . are they afwaid of wittle ole me? *laughing* My wittle publishers and my wittle book wif it's pink cover? Are dey afwaid? of what? Okay, they aren't afraid of me; why should they be? I'm a small press author who is getting a little bit of attention for my little book in the hopes people will love it and love me and then buy my other books. I'm so low on the blip of the Big Guys radars - so why all the hoopla?


Thing is, The Big Guys out there have the budget to do all manner of things for their authors—I mean, really, come on! You don’t think The Big Guys don’t have all kinds of ways to make sure their authors are noticed? Renting book space in bookstores so their author’s books are placed up front. Shoot, I get that. Dang, I'd be all for it if I were published by The Big Guys. It's all fair play. It's all a part of the Big Game. It's all a part of marketing and promotion. And I'll tell you, it's dog eat dog out there - it's tough - it may be even cutthroat - lawd! lawd! I'm just a little author in a big huge bloated world of books and publishers.....lawd!


In the end, the author’s work has to stand on its own. If my books are not good, it won’t matter if they are free or not. If my books are good, then people will buy them. If having a free promo introduces readers to my books, then what is the harm in that?


I am rather enjoying all the hoopla. *grin* - I mean, the more they discuss it, the more people go by to see what’s up and the more people who may hurry up and download my book to kindle before the promo is over. Then, if they love Virginia Kate, if they love Tender Graces by lil ole relatively unknown Kathyrn Magendie, they may buy the book itself, or, they may go and purchase Secret Graces, and then the next books Bellebooks/Bell Bridge books publishes.


There isn’t a publisher out there who hasn’t done some kind of promo to get an author noticed, so why all the angst about this promo? I wonder if it has nothing to do with the words “Best Seller” and more about the attention this promo is getting for some of us smaller press authors. And of course, on the other side of it, The Big Guys have the right to say what they have to say to protect their authors and to tout their authors, as well. Meanwhile, I'll just sit back and let them all fight it out because I don't wanna get in the middle of the squeeze. I just want to write my books and do my thang. Lil ole me... Teeheehee.


Here’s one of the articles on LA Times - and here's another one on Tampa Bay Online Critics Corner and then here is the Amazon Kindle "Best seller" list - where I have been between No 1 and No 2 (was No 3 and No 5 as well) for a while now for this two week promo, which ends this weekend, I think.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My adoptive mother: Before She Knew I Existed































My brother, whom some of you "met" when I hurried down to Arlington Texas when he was in the hospital, has been sending me bunches old family photos. Within those family photos are those of my adoptive mom. Several times over mornings I have been pouring over them, staring at them, becoming emotional at the photos of my young adoptive mother's image of Before Me.


Particularly the ones dated "1957" -- she was graduating high school then. She was in her prom dress. The year before that, she was in an FHA club. She was a young high school girl, about to graduate, about to attend her prom in a dress I lay sure bet that she made herself. I wonder if perhaps she may have been working on her prom dress at night after school the day I slipped from my biological mother's body, red and squalling. My adoptive mother Ruth did not know of me. She did not know of my father yet; she did not know of the other child who had already slipped from my bio-mom's body, or of the one who would come after me: two boys and a girl.


I stare at the photos of her young pretty face and I get emotional. And, a thought comes that I wish wouldn't: She was too young; we ruined her young hopeful life with our coming along. Yes, she wanted us, asked for us. But . . . still . . . look at her.


There are photos taken on the farm she lived after she’d have graduated high school – I know she left the farm, to work, to see what was out there. What was out there was my dad. Who had been married; left his wife and family in West Virginia. A man who had children.


The photo of Ruth sitting on the couch is in 1960. I would be 3 years old. Not yet come to live with her, but she would have met me by this time, a sad-eyed pigtailed chubby little thing. This is the year she'd be marrying my dad, if I have my dates right. I was already 3 years old before they married. Already this little human being. And look how young she is in that photo of her sitting there - already more mature than the high school photos, but still . . .


There is one of her as a small child. I stare at that one a lot. For one, she eerily reminds me of what my Sweetie character would look like as a small child. And, it is that thing where you see your mother as a child - long before you came along whether you were adopted or not.


I keep staring. Wondering. Wishing. Thinking. I wonder, too, how I would think of I were NOT adopted by Ruth. If Ruth had been my biological mother and I looked at these photos—what would be my feelings? Would there be the feelings of: did we mess up her life, us coming along as a sort of package deal with our dad? Or do children who are not adopted sometimes feel that way? That their being born to their mothers ruined her young hopeful life in some way? Ruined that young hopeful girl? (And I imagine Ruth, my adoptive mother, reading this and saying, “I am glad for what I did. . .” and I think, “but always mom? Always? – and then I think, maybe all mothers/daughters/children have these thoughts – adopted or not. But, I am so grateful she did take us in. Where would we have ended up, I surely do not know.). This is not a sad or angst-filled post, but more a curious wondering one. For there is plenty of room for gratitude. Plenty of thankfulness that my two brothers and I weren't scattered about like seeds and instead were able to stay together, and then have two more brothers come to us, too boot. Five children.


You tell me—you who are not adopted. What do you feel when you look at photos of your mother? What connections are made that I cannot claim, being adopted by my stepmother? Or, what connections and thoughts/feelings do I have that you have as well, even not being adoptive?


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Thank you Mother for taking us kids in and then adopting us so we would stay together.
A mother who adopts another woman's child(ren) is special - brave!


Happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fried Critter Leg Anyone? South Louisiana Cuisine Gone Wild










After my "I need to take a breath" post of yesterday, below, today is something to make you laugh, or go, as I did, "OMG - EYEWWWWWW that's disgusting and even disturbing." *laughing* Can you tell from the photos above what the man is eating? Hmmmm? Can you?

A friend took the photos at the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Fest For All. Some of you know I went to South Louisiana for Angie Gumbo Writer's mom's funeral - which was lovely and there are some thoughts I will set down about that. But, when the friend sent these photos today, I was reminded all over again just how crazy South Louisianians are . . . omg!


The man in the photo, named George, is eating something that I at first thought was a turkey leg, for they do serve big fried turkey legs at the festival. However, as we came closer, I saw . . . er . . . ugh . . . fur . . and, and, and . . . claws - OH DEAR LAWD HELP ME . . .I said, "WHAT IS THAT?*shudder*," George said, "It's a fried coon leg." I said, "NO WAY!" he said, "YES WAY!" and he kind of pushed it towards GMR and me, just a'grinnin' . . . and sure enough, there was a haunch he was gnawing on that had a fried coating on it, and then the lower part of the leg, and there was fur, and claw. EYEWWWWWWWW!


Then our friend, Steve Winham, who was with his lovely wife Betty (and there's another story of a drunkened fellow trying to pick up Betty and I at the festival *haw*), took a picture of GMR and me standing with George and his culinary nightmare. As you can see by my screwed up face - it was pretty screwed up *laughing* OMG . . .


The stand where he bought it had other "culinary delights" other than "fried coon leg" - you can read some of them. The "Fried Coon Leg" was written on a red disposable plate, rather proudly I might add. *eyewwwwww* All I could think about was our coons come to the feeder, so fat and happy . . . *gulp*


I'm still queasy about it - good lawd! Those South Louisianians are truly one of a kind!


(before I leave to go throw up -laughing- I found out from Bellebooks that the Tender Graces Free Kindle Download promo will be two weeks only - so if you want a free download of the first book, then hurry and get it! There's a write up about free e-books on the Los Angele's Times Book section and they mention me and TG and SG --not the content of the books, just about kindle e book promos etc. . . )

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I need to take a Big Deep Breath!


Hi Y'all. I need a nap or something . . .


You know, I started blogging on MSN (Howling from my Mountain) to talk about my writing journey - or the journey to publishing, etc. I always just laid it on the line - wrote about things honesty and straight-forward, as I try to do here . . . without too much whining *laughing*


So, why am I hiding the fact that I'm feeling just a little overwhelmed right now? That I'm having a hard time keeping up with IT ALL . . . EVERYTHING that crosses my path or desk or email or phone or door or twitter or facebook or . . . --between my work (what I've dreamed about for years - seeing that come to fruition, seeing that as my main focus, I admit), my friends and family, my homelife, and all of you in Blog Friend Land, Other Social Networking, and et cetera.


There is so much going on - two books coming out this year, and another VK saga to write. But with that comes additional work, for you don't just write the books, send them off, they are published, and then you sit back and think, "well, that's done," for the work continues. I have my fingers in other pies as well - Rose & Thorn, and a couple other projects. I've had to let some things go, even when I didn't want to. And some requests I am getting, or things I want to help other writers/writer friends with I've not been able to do as I used to -- I hope they forgive me for that.


But what I notice, too, is how my blog is suffering lately. Posting has been a bit erratic, due to one thing or another, along with some unexpected things. Then there is the visiting I've been unable to do much of lately - dang it! I tried getting to all of your blogs on Sundays - reading, catching up, and commenting, and usually that took most of the day, but I've even fallen off the schedule with even that.


So, everyone, be patient with me as I slide into sea of stuff and wade around until I get my footing. I'm going to stay busy, at least for a while, but I'm hoping not quite as frenetic as time progresses, and to get myself organized. My social life is down to "not having one" *laughing* other than when I have to go out of town or have visitors and am "forced" to back away from the computer . . . huhn!


I want to write to you about Angie, and there are more things I want to get back to blogging about so my blog isn't so disjointed. And I miss visiting all of you -maybe if I didn't try visiting all in one gulp, but instead divided you all up and visited a few at a time - that could work!


So, what's been going on with you? What are you up to? Has your blog suffered because of life and demands?


Before I leave - Bellebooks still has the promo they are doing of offering Tender Graces on Amazon Kindle for free. I don't know how long it will be there, but if you have the e-reader and want TG, now's the time to do it. However, Secret Graces isn't offered for free - it just came out!


Now, everyone, tell me to take a BIG DEEP BREATH! to take my own advice and go out and smell some roses or something *laughing* *muwah* and love to you all....miss you and your lives and your humor and fun and what you all write about!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No 1 on Kindle; Interview; Home

I'm home from Louisiana. The funeral services for Angie's mother were beautiful...more on that later.

Right now, I have to catch up, since I've been gone since Friday and just arrived home last night.

Over at Helluo Librorum, Teresa Frohock has interviewed me and it went up yesterday - I hope you'll stop by and read, support, say hello, check out Teresa's blog, et cetera!

Next, in my email came news that the promo Bellebooks was doing went really well! Every so often they offer a book for free download on Kindle - well, they offered my first book Tender Graces for free on Kindle this month (not sure if it's all month or not) - and the first day it shot to Number 1! Cool! It's now at #3 . . . still pretty cool.

You can get Tender Graces for free on Kindle for a limited time - so, if you are interested in that, go on there and get it. . . I'll see you all soon.


Amazon.com Sales Rank: #1 in Kindle Store (See Bestsellers in Kindle Store)
Popular in these categories:
#1 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Literary
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Literary Fiction
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Fiction